Summary: What does the Bible teach us about work? There is more here than we may realize!
Today let's begin a series of lessons on a much needed subject: Work!
An employer called in all his workers together for a meeting and said, "We have just purchased a bunch of robots. And these robots will free you from some of the menial things you have been doing in the past, tightening screws, & so on."
Many of the employees looked worried, so he quickly added, "Now don’t worry about your jobs. Nobody is going to lose a job as a result of these robots. Instead we will get more work done and you’ll all keep your jobs."
"Actually," he said, "this will even work to your advantage. Through the work of these robots you will probably not even have to work a full 40-hour week, & you can take a day off now & then with no reduction in pay."
He went on, "As we get this system perfected even more, you can have two days off. You’ll only have to work 3 days a week. In fact, our ultimate goal is that you will only have to come to work one day a week, on Wednesdays. That will be it, & you’ll still get your full salary."
One of the employees in the back row raised his hand. He had a question. "Sir, does that mean we will have to come in every Wednesday?" (From sermon central: “The Joy of Work Completed,” by MELVIN NEWLAND)
How do you view work?
The Bible begins with God's work of creation. Genesis 1-2 tells us how God worked six days creating the heavens and the earth, vegetation, fish and fowl, animals and man. Then on the seventh day, God ceased work and rested. Each working day, God would create and observe and enjoy his accomplishment saying, “It is good.” At the end of the work week, God saw all He had made and said, “It is very good!” Then, on the seventh day, God took a day of rest, and blessed that day making it holy.
In creation God set up the rhythm of labor and rest, with six days of work and one day of rest. This rhythm expresses more than just a sensible pattern for us to follow, it sets up a holy pattern. A pattern designed by God Himself to bless us and guide us as creatures made in His image.
Who created time? Who set the standard for measuring time? Where did the seven day week come from? What does God want us to do with the time He has given us? These are questions we need to ask and answer with the scriptures.
A couple of weeks ago at our Thursday morning men's meeting here we talked about the subject of work and what the Bible says about it. Bob Mayes usually leads the meeting with a devotional guide. This guide that looks at a scripture and an application is especially focused for men. That topic really hit home. We men particularly, look at our jobs as a part of our identity. When guys talk to each other we tend to ask, what do you do? Or, what line of work are you in? This question is more than just a question about how a man spends his time. This is a question of what a man is. The question for kids once was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Not what do you want to do, but what do you want to be. For us as men, especially, our work defines us. I am a preacher, I am a farmer, I am a lawyer, I am a … fill in the blank. A young lady might say, “I want to be a wife and mother,” but most men would not say, “I want to grow up to be a daddy.” There's a reason for that, and it is in our nature.
In Genesis chapter two the Bible describes how God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. The first thing God does with the man is put Him in the garden of Eden and give him a job. Before Adam got a wife, he got a job. That's a good order. Work was never part of the curse. God worked before the curse and so did Adam and Eve. Working is something we are designed for. It is a blessing and an expression of our divine identity with God. Sin came and caused work to be complicated by hardship and frustration, but work is still good, as all of the Bible will testify. Jesus said in John 5:17 “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” God is a worker! We were made in His image and after His likeness so that we are divinely designed to work and enjoy the fruits of our labors. But since the curse there is also problem...